Creating a business plan is a crucial part of your new venture. The plan explains what your business does and how you’re going to achieve your goals. It can help provide clarity for the strategy of your business. This is important not only for you but also if you’re seeking outside investment. So, what sort of information do you need to include in your business plan?
The executive summary is the first part of a business plan. Even though it’s the first thing you read, it tends to be the last thing you write. It’s a summary of your business and plans. Going forward, you’ll use this description in lots of documents, including client reports and future pitch projects. The executive summary should sell your business and quickly capture the reader’s interest.
One of the most important parts of your business plan will be explaining your finances. This is particularly key if you’re seeking investment from outside companies. Your business plan should include a financial forecast. The complexity of this forecast will depend on the complexity of your business. You’ll want to include cash flow and profit and loss accounts. You may also have to include balance sheets and a forecast of them. Be realistic with your finances and be sure to include ‘what if?’ scenarios.
Marketing plays a large part in setting up a new business and should be budgeted for accordingly. You want to explain how you’re getting your brand’s name out to your desired target audience. It’s worth exploring both digital and traditional marketing, from creating banners and flyers to establishing a social media presence. Your business plan should include your promotional tactics and why you think they’re going to be effective.
Following your marketing section, you should explain your competition. This shows you understand the market you’re trying to break into and allows you to explain how your business will stand out. Don’t make the mistake of saying there is no competition or openly criticise them. This part of your business plan should positively explain the advantages of using your business.
Another essential item to include in your business plan is a management and personnel section. This part will explain the structure and key skills of your team. You can explain how you’re staffing each aspect of your business, from production to administration. You can also include your recruitment and training plan, alongside the timescales and costs. It’s also important to address any areas where you’re lacking staff and how you plan to combat this.
Crafting your business plan gives you clarity with your ideas, alongside promoting them to potential investors.